Thursday 4 April 2013

Williams Wants Out

So the to-do with Chris Williams a month ago was not much ado about nothing. It now looks like Chris Williams wants out of his contract and is actively trying to get the final year voided.

The crux of Williams' argument is that when he signed his contract back in 2011, the Ti-Cats did not offer him a minimum-length contract (one year plus an option) which the CBA states is a must, even if the team also offers a longer deal. Williams was inked to a three-year deal.

Reaction online to what Williams is doing has been swift and harsh, with many siding with the team and saying Williams is being greedy, not honourable and is damaging his reputation. I understand that sentiment, but I don't entirely agree with it.

Football players have very short careers, so getting as much as you can as quickly as you can is almost a must. Williams has been playing for peanuts the last two years, two years in which he won league awards, and is looking for a chance to make more money. Whether that be with the Ti-Cats or in the NFL is immaterial. He wants more money and he has earned more money. Fans are quick to jump on a player's back when they believe he is being overcompensated, but when a guy has performed beyond his contract and wants a substantial raise, he is accused of being greedy.

The idea that he is doing something wrong by not honouring his deal is somewhat laughable. Football contracts are not guaranteed and therefore are pretty much not worth the paper they are printed on. The team can cut a player in a heartbeat, and when they do, no one thinks twice. When a player wants to break his deal, he gets labelled as a malcontent. Williams is getting bashed for not being loyal, but no one rips the team when they aren't loyal and cut a guy for someone cheaper or younger.

Williams has a bit of leverage after two award-winning seasons and he is using it. I don't see anything wrong with that. Like everyone else, I want to see Williams back, but I won't hold it against him if he chooses not to return or is successful in getting his deal voided. Williams will not be attending the team's voluntary mini-camp later this month and it is entirely possible that we have seen the last of him in a Ti-Cats jersey.